2012 NIT Tournament Second Round
#7 Illinois St Redbirds at #3 Stanford Cardinal
Maples Pavilion – Palo Alto, California
Monday, March 19, 2012, 11:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Stanford -7 1/2
Current Line: Stanford -8 1/2
Opening Total: 134
Current Total: 135
Opening Money Line: Stanford -350 / Illinois St +290
Current Money Line: Stanford -430 / Illinois St +350
The 22-11 Stanford Cardinal finished 7th in the Pac 12 under coach Johnny Dawkins. Stanford lost to Cal in the Pac 12 quarterfinals. The Cardinal received a bid to the NIT as a #3 seed. Stanford beat #6 seed Cleveland St 76-65 in the first round last week.
Stanford will now take on #7 seed Illinois St in the second round Monday night. The winner will take on Nevada in the quarterfinals Wednesday night. The 21-13 Redbirds were part of a 5 team logjam for third place in the Missouri Valley Conference. Illinois St, coached by Tim Jankovich, upset MVC regular season champ Wichita St in the semifinals before losing in overtime to Creighton in the MVC Championship. The Redbirds got a #7 seed and upset #2 seed Ole Miss in the first round in Oxford 96-93 in overtime. This is the first ever meeting between Stanford and Illinois St.
The Redbirds have non-conference losses to Fresno St, Illinois, and NC-Wilmington, and a win over Rutgers. In conference Illinois St was swept by Wichita St and Creighton, and swept Bradley and Missouri St. The Redbirds split with every other team in the conference.
Stanford has wins over Fresno St, Colorado St, Oklahoma St, North Carolina St, San Diego, UCLA, USC twice, Oregon St twice, Utah, Colorado twice, Arizona St twice, and Cal. The Cardinal have losses to Syracuse, Butler, Oregon twice, Washington St, Washington, Cal twice, Arizona, UCLA, and Utah.
Illinois St is outscoring opponents 69-65 this season. The Redbirds are shooting 43.9% from the field and 37.5% from 3 point range. ISU makes 75% of their free throws. The Redbirds average 35 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of +2.3. Illinois St averages 13.2 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 5 steals, and 3.3 blocks a game. Redbird opponents are shooting 41.1% from the field and 35.1% from 3 point range. ISU forces 11.1 turnovers a game.
ISU forward Jackie Carmichael averages 13.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks a game to lead the team in all three categories. Tyler Brown averages 13.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1 steal a game to lead the team. He is shooting 43.8% from 3 point range. Nic Moore averages 9.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists to lead the team, and 0.9 steals a game. He makes 37.8% of his 3 pointers. Jon Ekey averages 9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists a game. He makes 40.6% from 3 point range. Bryant Allen averages 8.2 points, and 1.3 rebounds a game. He shoots 41.8% from beyond the arc. John Wilkins averages 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. Trey Blue is questionable with a personal issue. Jordan Threloff is out for the season with a broken thumb.
Stanford is outscoring opponents 71-63 this season. The Cardinal are shooting 44.1% from the field, and 36.7% from 3 point range. Stanford makes 66.2% from the free throw line. The Cardinal average 36.8 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of +4.7. Stanford averages 12.5 assists, 13.8 turnovers, 6.3 steals and 3.2 blocks a game. Cardinal opponents are shooting 41.7% from the field and 33.5% from 3 point range. Stanford forces 14.8 turnovers a game.
Stanford guard Chasson Randle averages 13.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.1 steals a game to lead the team. He is shooting 43.1% from 3 point range. Forward-center Josh Owens averages 11.7 points, 5.7 rebounds a game to lead the team and 1.1 steals to tie for the team lead. Aaron Bright averages 11.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists to lead the team. He makes 40.5% of his 3 point attempts. Anthony Brown averages 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.1 assists a game. Josh Huestis leads the team in blocks with 1.1 a game and also averages 4.7 rebounds a game. Reserve guard Gabriel Harris is out for the season with a knee injury.
Stanford is 16-14 ATS and the total is also 16-14. Illinois St is 16-14 ATS and the total is 17-13 this season. The Redbirds are 4-0 ATS against teams with winning records, and overall, and 4-1 after a cover. The Cardinal are 5-0 ATS in Monday games, 4-0 at home against teams with losing road records, 4-1 at home, 8-3 in non-conference games, 4-10 after a straight up win, and 2-7 after a cover.
Illinois St upset Ole Miss in Oxford, but it might be a lot to ask them to go across country and do the same thing at Stanford. Stanford is tough at home, and that should be enough to get the win for the Cardinal.
Our college basketball handicappers are red hot in March and are releasing winners and key plays every day until they cut down the nets in New Orleans next month.